Vendee Globe - 1130 - 2/1/01

Mark Chisnell reports as Ellen's race for second hots up

Tuesday January 2nd 2001, Author: Mark Chisnell, Location: United Kingdom
In the past 24 hours Ellen MacArthur (light blue) and Roland Jourdain (dark blue) have headed east-south-east and got themselves positioned for a fast downwind ride on the low pressure system that we talked about yesterday. Both boats are running fast in a 'proper' Southern Ocean westerly airstream and Ellen has locked in her gains from the past week. Kingfisher is now only 21 nm behind Jourdain, they are both in the same weather system and the race for second is on.

Fleet at 0300, 2/1/01

Behind these two Marc Thiercelin (light brown) has not made any progress in closing the gap, but by dropping south-east quickly over the last 24 hours, it does look like he's now hooked into this same low pressure system. All four front boats are doing speeds of around fifteen knots. And it could be worse for Thiercelin, he could've missed this system altogether, like those behind him. In lighter air, and doing four or five knots slower, we can only expect the four hundred plus mile gap to Thomas Coville in fifth to grow.

Weather at 0300, 02/01/00

Jourdain and MacArthur have both started to haul in Michel Desjoyeaux (red) again, the elastic band that has been connecting them is once again contracting. We can see from the bigger weather picture above, how this weather system is already starting to form a double centre that's forecast to oscillate in and out of existence throughout the next week. It's the eastern centre, now forming, that is forcing Desjoyeaux to stay north and take the high road.
Map images courtesy of Virtual Spectator, click here to go to the VS site.

continued on page 2

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